FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 17, 2017) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has announced the five finalists for the 31st Annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. The scholarship, underwritten by Higginbotham and Southwest Bank, is presented each January to an exceptional senior student-athlete in North Texas.
This year’s finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Anna Connolly (J.J. Pearce High School), Madeline Ngo (Highland Park High School), Jacob Palisch (Jesuit College Preparatory School), Vivian Weinman (Southwest Christian School) and Christopher Wines (Trinity Christian Academy).
“Once again this year the selection committee was absolutely amazed by the quality of applicants for the award,” Chairman of the High School Scholarship Selection Committee David O’Brien Jr., said. “It was a monumental task to narrow the list down to five finalists, but we are delighted to be able to honor this group of outstanding young people.”
The recipient of the $30,000 scholarship will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 24, during the 10th Annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Luncheon held at The Fort Worth Club. The Foundation will also award $2,500 scholarships to each of the four remaining finalists.
The Foundation has given away nearly $1 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. Recipients of the High School Scholarship Award are chosen on the basis of scholastic achievements, community service, character, leadership and varsity sports participation. As part of the selection process, the committee interviews all five finalists.
The winner will be honored Monday, Feb. 20, at the 40th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner. Also in attendance will be Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, the two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, Jim McMahon, the Davey O’Brien Legends Award recipient, and Scott Murray, the Charles Ringler Founder’s Award honoree.
A limited number of individual tickets for the dinner are available in the Sunset Room for $200 each, a portion of which is tax deductible. Please contact the Davey O’Brien Foundation at (817) 338-3488 for more information.
About the Finalists
Anna Connolly (J.J. Pearce High School)
A senior at J.J. Pearce High School, Anna Connolly is a three-year member of the Academic All-District 10-6A softball team. With a 102.74 grade-point average on a 100-point weighted scale, she ranks fifth in her class of 500 students. She is the President of the National Honor Society and a peer mentor for the J.J. Pearce Starting Out Strong program. In addition, Connolly is a member of the school’s safety and inclusivity task force. She also is a candidate for the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award earned within Girl Scouts, and has volunteered for three years at the UT Dallas Science & Engineering Education Center.
Madeline Ngo (Highland Park High School)
Madeline Ngo is a three-year all-district performer in volleyball for Highland Park High School, where she served as team captain and earned District 15-5A Outstanding Setter honors in 2016. She was named first-team Class 5A Academic All-State as a senior, and was an academic all-district performer three years. Ngo ranks 11th among 535 students with a 4.50 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and is a National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. She received the bronze Presidential Service Award for community service. Ngo has volunteered for the National Charity League, serving as the chapter’s parliamentarian, as well as at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
Jacob Palisch (Jesuit College Preparatory School)
A Stanford baseball commit, Jacob Palisch was the 2016 UIL Class 6A State Tournament MVP after leading Jesuit to the state title. The pitcher also was a first-team Class 6A All-State selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association. Palisch is a two-time all-district performer in both baseball and football, and also earned all-district accolades in basketball as a junior. The football team’s quarterback was voted district MVP as a junior, and Player of the Year as a senior. He carries a 4.0 grade-point average and is a National Merit Commended Scholar and an AP Scholar with Honors. In the community, he works with the Commit to Dallas organization, serving as a teacher’s reading aide.
Vivian Weinman (Southwest Christian School)
A two-sport varsity athlete at Southwest Christian School, Vivian Weinman was honorable mention all-district in volleyball in 2016. A three-year letterwinner in volleyball, she served as team captain as a senior. She also won newcomer of the year accolades in basketball as a junior. In addition, Weinman won gold medals in tae kwon do at the 2015 Junior Pan American Games and the 2016 AAU National Qualifier. She owns a 4.63 grade-point average on a weighted 4.0 scale, and is secretary of the National Honor Society. She has served as an SCS student mentor for the past three years and has received the school’s community service award.
Christopher Wines (Trinity Christian Academy)
Christopher Wines is a four-year soccer starter at Trinity Christian Academy, where he helped lead his team to the state title as a junior and a state runner-up finish as a freshman. In addition, Wines was a three-year starter on defense for the football team. He served as team captain of the soccer team two seasons, and captained the football team as a senior. He sports a 4.52 GPA on a 4.0 scale and has appeared on the summa cum laude honor roll. A four-year student council member, he also is in the National Honor Society. Wines is the president of the Young Men’s Service League after previously serving as the vice president and communications chair.
About the Davey O’Brien Foundation
The Davey O’Brien Foundation was founded in 1977 to honor and remember the strong character and leadership of football great, Davey O’Brien. Widely known for its Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Foundation recognizes champions on and off the field through awards programs encouraging academic and career success. The Foundation has given away nearly $1 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. For more information, visit www.DaveyOBrien.org.
Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance and financial services that brokers business insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans, executive benefits, life insurance and home/auto insurance from more than 250 regional and national carriers. It supplements coverage with comprehensive risk management and benefit plan administration. The firm was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, with more than 25 additional offices statewide. It ranks by revenue as the largest independent insurance firm based in Texas (Business Insurance, July 2016). The Higginbotham Community Fund was established in 2011 to support charitable causes throughout Texas by distributing grants to nonprofit organizations. To date, the fund has raised more than $1 million through employee contributions and pledges. Visit www.Higginbotham.net for more information.
About Southwest Bank
Proudly serving North Texas for 50 years, Southwest Bank is the largest, locally owned, independent bank in Tarrant County. In addition to full-service banking centers in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Burleson, Grapevine, Mansfield and Saginaw, Southwest Bank maintains mortgage offices in Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin. Southwest Bank values its customers and believes in building loyal, lasting relationships through personalized service, honesty and integrity. For more information, visit www.SouthwestBank.com. Member FDIC.